Mikel Arteta refuses to guarantee game time for Bernd Leno

Mikel Arteta refuses to guarantee game time for Bernd Leno

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has said he cannot ‘guarantee’ Bernd Leno game time this season as he does not want to rotate his goalkeeper

The Gunners signed former Sheffield United stopper Aaron Ramsdale in the summer and the England international dislodged Leno from the starting lineup for the first time in the Premier League at the weekend, keeping a clean sheet as Arsenal beat Norwich 1-0 at the Emirates.

Aaron RamsdaleAaron Ramsdale

Ramsdale may have the opportunity to nail down a starting place / Julian Finney/Getty Images

That was the 23-year-old’s second shutout in as many appearances for the club following the 6-0 EFL Cup drubbing of West Brom back in August.

Ramsdale has impressed Arteta and the manager has suggested he is in no rush to restore 29-year-old Leno to the Arsenal starting XI unless he merits, it having decided to enter the transfer window in the summer following some unconvincing displays from the German.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Burnley on Saturday, the Spaniard said (as quoted by The Times): “We have to change something and Aaron has come here to try to make us better. We needed a result on that day and I decided to play him.

“I said to the goalkeepers in the last two or three years, that we don’t want to do that [rotate]. What we want to do is empower performance and ask them to train, behave and play the best possible way. How can I guarantee somebody something?”

“It wouldn’t make sense with what we are demanding them to do. So it is on a daily basis — what you did three months ago in football, it doesn’t count. So, it is what you’re going to do today and tomorrow, and that’s it.”

Arteta also moved to deny that Leno had reacted to being dropped against Norwich, adding: “Obviously for Bernd it wasn’t a pleasing communication when I told him that he wasn’t playing. But he’s a top professional and a top person.

“He should be disappointed and he should support his teammates like they all have with him every time he’s played. That’s exactly what he’s done.”


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